OFFICIAL - Playing golf helps you live longer

Happy Golfer

Looking for an excuse to play more golf? We've got you sorted.

Or rather Professor Adnan Qureshi has got you covered.

A neurologist at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Professor Qureshi led a "population-based observational study" in the US into the risk factors for heart disease and stroke among over-65s.

He surveyed almost 6,000 people, with an average of 72, and found that those who played golf at least once a month were much more likely to be alive a decade later.

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"Our study is perhaps the first of its kind to evaluate the long-term health benefits of golf, particularly one of the most popular sports  among older people in many countries," said Professor Qureshi.

Starting in 1989 and continuing through 1999, the participants in the survey had extensive annual medical examinations, as well as clinic visits every six months.

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Comparing mortality rates between golfers and non-golfers over a ten-year period, it was significantly lower among those who do play the game. 

Around 15% died, as compared with roughly a quarter of those who never picked up a club.

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"The US Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans does not yet include golf in the list of recommended physical activities," added Professor Qureshi.

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"Therefore, we are hopeful our research findings could help to expand the options for adults to include golf.

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"While walking and low intensity jogging may be comparable exercise, they lack the competitive excitement of golf.

"Regular exercise, exposure to a less polluted environment and social interactions provided by golf are all positive for health.

"Another positive is that older adults can continue to play golf, unlike other more strenuous sports such as football, boxing and tennis."

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